Video Game Central: Smash Bros demo; Nintendo’s mistake

By Nicolas Brown, reporter


There are times in life when an event happens and you get to go and have an amazing experience. On the other hand, events where you do not get to participate leave you feeling sad and a bit depressed. In a recent event I experienced the latter.

Smash Bros Ultimate is one of the most anticipated games since its reveal in March. In order to promote the game, Nintendo started the Super Smash Bros.Tailgate Tour, held at select college football games.

Being a Smash fan myself, my friend and I drove to Eugene on Saturday, Sept. 1. It was the first Ducks game of the season, and it was packed with people. Traffic was horrendous and the drive took three hours.

“I hope this is worth it,” I said, as we drove up to the stadium parking lot. We were all tired of driving and were excited to finally play the game.

The Smash area was set up in a park in the back of the stadium. There were four set-ups to play the game: three in the back for “free-for-all” and one in the front for “one-on-one.” All of the setups were organized on a “Smash stage” and the only way to play was to walk upstairs to the stage.

I asked the people who organized the stage, “Is there a ramp so I can get up on the stage?” They replied, “Nope.”

I started to get angry, sad and disappointed. I really wanted to play the game. My friend is kind of introverted and likes to avoid conflict, so all he said was “man, that sucks, I’m sorry.”

All you Smash fans know what I mean when I say not having Smash is like not having a part of yourself.

Then I asked the people working the event, “Why is there not a ramp in case people in wheelchairs or other walking disabilities would want to play?” They responded, “Guess we didn’t think about that.”

I was distraught, thinking, “How in world the people in charge of this event could forget the disabled population?”

The fact that a stage was not mentioned on the Nintendo website is inconsiderate to the disabled. Out of the 48.9 million people in the United States with a disability, 3.6 million have wheelchair specific disabilities. There could have been many more people with this issue at this and future Smash Tailgate events. People in wheelchairs take longer to do daily activities that abled body people don’t even think about. Driving for disabled is also a hassle because wheelchairs can not just hop in a car; it takes a lot longer to get in and go.

Nintendo needs to recognize these people and start making future events handicap accessible so gamers are not taking hours out of their day to go to an event that is not available to them.

As you can imagine, this is not the only time accessibility was an issue. I have encountered this on many occasions. For example, walking around Woodstock, a lot of sidewalks do not have curbs for wheelchairs to get on to. Another example would be every class room in Cleveland High School. I can not open the door and there’s no button to open it automatically.

How many of you have seen an accessibility issue? I encourage you all to advocate for your disabled community when you notice acts like this. For example, open doors, get officially involved to make changes.

Probably the most important thing to do is, let these people know that you genuinely understand what they are going through. Be friends with disabled people, because not a lot of people do. It makes for a very lonely life. Everyone deserves a chance to have fun and play Smash.